Google Moves To Comply on 'Right To Be Forgotten' Ruling

Google moves to comply on 'right to be forgotten' ruling
Philippe Huguen, AFP/Getty Images
By Matt Clinch | @mattclinch81

Technology giant Google (GOOG) launched an online form Friday giving European users a chance to get personal information about themselves removed from search results.

The move follows a ruling earlier in May by the Luxembourg-based European Union Court of Justice. This came after a Spanish man complained to the Spanish data protection agency that an auction notice of his repossessed home on Google's search results infringed his privacy.

Google originally argued that forcing it to remove such data amounts to censorship, but the new form will be its first attempt at complying with the ruling. On the online form, Google states that certain users can ask for the removal of search results that include their name where those results are "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed."

The company added that it would assess each individual request and attempt to balance the privacy rights of the individual with the public's right to know and distribute information.

"When evaluating your request, we will look at whether the results include outdated information about you, as well as whether there's a public interest in the information -- for example, information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions or public conduct of government officials," it said in the press release accompanying the new form.

Users will need to include a copy of a valid form of photographic identification as well as a name and email address. They will also have to provide a link to the page that they wish to be removed from the search results, explain why it is about them and describe why it is "irrelevant, outdated or otherwise inappropriate."

Google added that this new form is just the first step on the road to compliance and is working to finalize its implementation of removal requests under European data protection law as soon as possible.

For the California-based multinational, the new ruling is proving to be a major headache and the company's executives aren't shy to show it. Speaking at the U.S. technology show Code Conference on Wednesday, Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin joked to an audience that he wished he could just "forget the ruling," but quickly explained that the company would be implementing the measures in Europe over the coming months.

Google Getting First 'Right To Be Forgotten' Requests

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Kirsty Boden

How good of Google to make its first attempt at complying with the ruling! One does wonder why all this data has to be published in the first place. Imagine the nuisance that could have been avoided!

Unfortunately, it's the norm nowadays and too few people care enough about privacy to want to do something to combat the issue properly!

Kirsty Boden,

June 27 2014 at 11:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't understand why google has to publish personal information in the first place. They should go back to what it was designed for in the first place, a search engine.

May 30 2014 at 11:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The privacy vs censorship/freedom of information debate still rages. It seems like such a giant task to attempt to police the internet though.

May 30 2014 at 9:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply